Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Identify and Prevent Mosaic Viruses

Mosaic viruses are a type of plant virus that can infect more than 150 different types of plants. It is a virus that mostly affects vegetables, typically tomatoes, potatoes, and squashes but can also affect flowers and fruits. I like to go around every couple of weeks to look at my plants to see if they have been infected. There is nothing you can do but remove the plant once it is infected, so proper identification and prevention are key to having a healthy garden.

Mosaic Virus Identification

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, there are three common ways to tell if the plant has the mosaic virus. First, the plants grow poorly and can be very stunted in its growth. You can see that something "just isn't right" with it. Secondly, leaves on the plants may be wavy and have deformities. Curling and weird shaped leaves can be a sign that the plant has something wrong with it. Lastly, there can be things like look like blisters on the leaves, appearing mottled with spots of green, white, and yellow. These blisters and varying colors that should not be on the leaf are a tell-tale sign. These are the easiest ways to tell if your plant has a virus.

Prevention of Mosaic Virus

While there is nothing that can be done to treat the virus once it has overcome the plant, there are a few things that you can do to help keep the virus away from your plants. It doesn't take the sting of seeing a plant die away, but it will help keep it from happening again and again. Weeding is a very good way to prevent the virus, as many weeds can be a host for the disease. Insects are prolific spreaders of the virus, so keeping your plants free from the bugs is another good preventive method. Lastly, you can plant specific cultivars that may be resistant to the virus.

There is nothing worse that seeing all the fruits of your gardening labor destroyed plant by plant from a virus or other disease. Knowing the proper way to identify plant disease and having the knowledge on how to prevent it can be the key in having a healthy and viable garden, year after year. Your county extension can give you several good ideas on how to proceed with your garden and keep disease and pests at bay.

Source:

Old Farmers Almanac

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How to Identify and Prevent Common Vegetable Plant Diseases

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1 comments:

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